An Anthem class action MDL has been established in California to ease the burden placed on the courts. A swathe of highly similar negligence claims against Anthem have been filed in the wake of the 78.8 million record mega data breach discovered in February of this year.
With so many member records being exposed, the number of class-action lawsuits being filed could potentially keep the district courts busy for months. However, they have more to deal with than data breach damage claims. In California alone there are close to 100 lawsuits relating to the breach, so an Anthem Class action MDL was the logical step to take to prevent hours of court time being wasted on claims that are essentially carbon-copies of each other.
The decision was made by a panel of seven, with Sarah S. Vance having the chair. She said “Numerous plaintiffs support centralization in this district, both in the first instance and in the alternative. And, although headquartered in Indiana, Anthem has significant ties to California, where it is the largest for-profit health insurer and maintains several offices.”
After careful consideration, an Anthem class-action MDL was established which included 17 separate class action claims. The cases will be heard at the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California.
According to Vance, “[the Northern District of California] presents a convenient and accessible forum with the necessary judicial resources and expertise to manage this litigation efficiently.”
The MDL includes seven class actions from California (Northern, Central and Eastern Districts), a further seven from the Southern District of Indiana and one each from Alabama (Northern District), Georgia (Northern District) and Ohio (Southern District).
Anthem Class Action MDL to Save Valuable Court Time
The decision to establish the MDL for Anthem class-actions was made due to the similarity of many of the lawsuits. All the cases had common central facts and all were punitive in nature. The cases were not confined to single states, with each of the seventeen involving plaintiffs from all across the country.
It was clear to the panel that that there would be considerable duplication of processes, which would see the cost of dealing with the Anthem data breach spiral. For this MDL there will be a single discovery process and each of the cases can be heard in an efficient manner. With potentially 78.8 million names to be added to class-action lawsuits, Anthem will certainly want to save as much as possible in litigation costs.